Fine Art Film Travel Photography in Santorini, Greece


This summer we traveled to Greece for the first time, and I must admit it lived up to all of my soaring expectations. It is as ethereal and other-worldly as it appears, like something out of a dream. So peaceful, relaxed and aesthetically breathtaking that you could wander the streets for hours just to see what is behind each corner. We loved every minute of our time there and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite images of the island and recommendations for anyone planning their next getaway!

Tim and I were celebrating our 10 year anniversary, so in our research we wanted to stay in a city that was romantic, quieter and had a wide selection of amazing restaurants. The three main cities you can choose from on the caldera are Oia, Fira and Imerovigli. We ruled out Fira, mainly because it is the most touristy of the three and the main cruise ship port which brings hundreds of extra passengers each day, flooding their streets and restaurants. Imerovigli had some amazing recommendations and was well suited to couples traveling, but we decided on Oia as it still had some history as well as the iconic blue domes to explore in addition to incredible food and views.

One of my brides is from Greece originally and was incredibly helpful to us in our planning. Two of her top recommendations were:

  1. Vacation during the ‘off season’ if you can. We were originally aiming to visit in June and she told us that if we could bump up our trip even just a few weeks we would see a huge difference across the board – less crowds, and more cost effective lodging and dining. We chose to travel on May 16th and everything she said was true! Our hotel was around half the price it would have cost us in June and while there were still a lot of people, the streets were easily navigable and we never had to wait long for a table (although we highly recommend reservations months in advance!) We were nervous the weather would be cold, but it was almost 80 degrees everyday and only one day of rain.
  2. Spend the most on your lodging. When we were researching where to stay, we almost booked at several air B&B’s, but the tricky thing about staying in Greece is that everything is stacked on top of each other, so it’s very difficult to find a true private room or villa. Look carefully at photos and don’t be afraid to question the hosts so you can understand if you’re splitting a villa with another couple or have a shared pool or entrance – this is typically the majority of what is offered. Tim stumbled upon a hidden gem in Oia (another reason we decided to book there) and it was perfect! We wanted it to be private and were hoping for a hot tub instead of a pool (since it was a little cooler in the nights) and we could not recommend our hotel enough!

This was the view from our private balcony each morning!! Unbelievable, right? Our hotel was: the Katikies Villas (not to be confused with Katikies Santorini). It is the sister hotel of Katikies Santorini – which most people have heard of, as it is one of the leading hotels in the world! However, we were on more of a budget 😉 so the villas were the perfect choice for us. Since they are a sister property of Katikies Santorini, we shared many of the same amenities – we could use their pool (with a poolside champagne lounge!) and could eat our complimentary breakfast there or have it delivered to our room (after it was prepared by their Michelin starred chef!) The key to staying at this property is truly booking during the off season. The prices vary wildly throughout the year, and Tim scored an incredible deal for us! There are only 7 available villas on their property, so booking well in advance is recommended. Because of its smaller nature, you receive excellent care from the staff, who all knew us personally by name at the end of our trip and went above and beyond to make our time unforgettable. We stayed in Villa 7 (the most private of all the suites – be sure to request it!) Here are some photos from the room as well as our view!

Kostas, our concierge was incredible – seeing to our every need and providing us with top recommendations for local restaurants and merchants so we could experience authentic cuisine and take home a piece of the islands with us to remember our stay forever.

He and the concierge team suggested several more local restaurants so that we could truly savor the tastes of the island and their recommendations were perfect! All within walking distance of our hotel as well, which was helpful for our late night dinners. Here are some of our favorites:

For Dinner:

Roka / this was a little more tucked away and harder to find, but it’s worth the journey! The walk takes you through many quaint streets as well. The dinner was one of our favorites.

Melitini / just around the corner from our hotel and we loved the traditional tapas!

Athenian House / this is located on Imerovigli and was our splurge on the trip to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. One of the best meals we’ve ever had sitting on what felt like the top of the world. You’ll want a car to get there from Oia, or you can brave the hike 😉

For Lunch/Drinks:

Meteor Cafe / atmospheric and very photogenic. A beautiful view and their Greek salad cannot be beat!

Ammoudi Bay / most of the taverns around this area are the same and fairly touristy, however the view is beautiful (especially at sunset) and eating right on the water is an authentic experience! Learn from our mistake and be sure to hire transportation to get you home instead of walking back up the 400 steps in the dark like we did!

While the majority of our time was spent sleeping, relaxing and eating, we also enjoyed a few activities while we were on the island. One of the days we spent walking around Oia which is very do-able for a mid afternoon. Be sure to see the iconic blue domes (there will be a long line for photos of them), the bell towers and a historic castle ruin towards the end of the city.

One of our favorite activities was a boat rental for the day. We would highly suggest doing this instead of the catamaran cruises that sail every night around sunset. They are packed with people and are often not a quieter experience. We were looking for something more laid back and private, and Tim found a website that is similar to Air BnB but for boats! You don’t need a boat license and overall it was very affordable for what you received. We worked with Karolos (who we highly recommend!) and were able to take his boat out for 8 hours to wherever we wanted. He also included fishing and snorkeling gear as well as recommendations for places to dock for lunch or drinks. He took great care of us and it was definitely one of our most unforgettable days. Tim loved being the captain of the boat and I loved reading an entire book on the open ocean – win/win 🙂

All in all it was an unforgettable trip and a big check off of my bucket list! It still feels like a dream and we can’t wait to go back again one day. I hope our recommendations are helpful to you if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful place – feel free to reach out with any additional questions, we’d be happy to help 🙂









The blog is where I share stories - recent wedding celebrations, travels and even some of my own personal adventures! I hope you find inspiration and enjoyment here, as well as a vision for how I'd love to tell your story! 

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